July 31, 2013
Kofax continues its acquisition rampage with a cash purchase of Kapow. I came across Kofax a few years ago while doing the research for "Take A Process View Of Content Integration." Apparently Kofax has taken the "process view." The idea behind that piece was that enterprises had so many diverse content stores that they needed to view conversion and migration of unstructured content as an internal competency.
But while content integration can reduce infrastructure costs and license fees, the real value is from improving business processes by linking content to business process management (BPM) and dynamic case management systems to reduce cycle time and improve compliance, customer support, and decision-making. These projects can be complex, difficult, and challenging, but Kofax correctly sees this as a large opportunity. I do as well.
Another Kapow capability is to scrape websites and create consolidated views. For example, customer service reps often switch between apps in a clumsy and inefficient manner while the customer is on hold. In some cases, ECI software should grab the needed content behind the scenes and present it in a unified way. Kapow Technologies' content integration solution works like a robot to extract, transform, and load content from Web-based apps to consolidated views. I interviewed one large telecommunications company that used Kapow's robot for customer service business processes to eliminate task switching and repetitive tasks. According to the company:
"We keep metrics on the savings from installing the Web ECI capability — and basically we were able to have one person do twice as much work. In one case we needed to process 129,000 orders for one business customer. It would have taken 30 people — if we had them to dedicate — to meet the two-month deadline. Using the Web ECI tool, we were able to meet our goals." (Software engineer, major telecommunications company)
In a sense, this extends cleverly from the Kofax's multichannel capture market — extending capture to external websites and social media. Forrester places enterprise content integration as part of the "content transformation market" — taking unstructured content and changing it for some business purpose. Kofax is rightly focused on this emerging market. All in all, a wise acquisition with many practical applications and a solid book of business.